The number of repossessions in the Blackpool area fell by more than a third last year, according to a new report.
The survey said the number of repossessions in Blackpool per 100 homes was 2.61, above the national average of 2.05 , but down from 4.02 in 2013.
The e.surv chartered surveyors report also said that the North-South divide in home repossessions has narrowed by a sixth over the last year.
There were 2.5 repossessions per 1,000 households in the North in the first half of 2014 (H1 2014), compared to 1.7 repossessions per 1,000 households in the South, according to e.surv’s analysis of court-ordered repossessions in England and Wales, broken down by post code.
This compares to 2.9 repossessions per 1,000 households in the North and 2.0 in the South in H1 2013, meaning the gap has reduced by 16 per cent year-on-year. Total home repossessions have fallen 14 per cent year-on-year as a result – from 27,105 in H1 2013 to 23,285 in H1 2014.
Repossessions have fallen in every region of England and Wales. However, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Northern towns still have a repossession rate above the national average, suggesting the North still has a way to go to catch up.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “The North West remains the repossessions capital of England and Wales, with nine out of 10 towns home to more repossessions than average.
“The North West was hit hard by recession-driven public-sector job cuts in particular, and many towns have been slower to wake from the slumber of the crisis as a result.”
But he added: “People all across England and Wales have a firmer grasp of their finances compared to a year ago and the Bank of England continues to hold interest rates low, which has been a real boon to those who are already on the housing ladder – allowing them the chance to pay down debts whilst accessing cheaper mortgage repayments.
“Some of the Northern cities that have struggled the most with repossessions have seen the fastest improvements.
“Blackpool, for example, had the second highest repossession rate across England and Wales in 2013 – now it’s speeding down the rankings, leaving even a few struggling areas of London dazed in its wake.”
“Moving forwards, the Mortgage Market Review will ensure that future borrowers are able to keep up with repayments, despite fluctuations in interest rates.”